Florida Keys residents adjusting to life without tourists following closure due to coronavirus

Monroe County opens first drive-thru COVID-19 testing site

The Florida Keys are closed, officially shutting down to visitors Sunday at 6 p.m.

ISLAMORADA, Fla. – The Florida Keys are closed, officially shutting down to visitors Sunday at 6 p.m.

That coming as Monroe County opened its first mobile COVID-19 testing site.

For now, the roads remain open, but areas normally busy with tourists are dark and empty.

Those for locals, however, are open and busy, and residents seem to want it that way.

"I think they should still stay open for the locals down here because we only have so many places to shop to go to, and we still need to get things, so I think they should keep non-essential places open," said Keys resident Jim McCarthy.

Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers explained the importance of taking preventative measures.

"Part of why we took the step we took was not because of what we're seeing within the City of Key West and County of Monroe, but what we were seeing from our neighbors to the north," Carruthers said. "That’s why we chose to close the keys to visitors and to tourists.”

Monroe County opened its first drive-thru testing site Monday, by a private contractor.

A few dozen cars lined up, but only two residents met the criteria to get the COVID-19 swab.

“Initially we were going to do it for our patients in our center, but we decided to open it up to public," said Marianne Finizio with Community Health of South Florida.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."